Am I using Target Disk mode correctly?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by srowndedbyh2o, May 10, 2009.

  1. srowndedbyh2o macrumors regular

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    #1
    I just started transferring files from my old iMac to my new iMac using target disk mode. I just did a drag and drop of folders from the home folder of my old iMac to my new iMac. I am not sure if I am doing this correctly. When I look inside the home folder on my new iMac I see that the folders I copied over did not replace the folders on my new iMac, but are inside the folders on my new iMac. Eg. when I open my Pictures folder on my new iMac, there is the Pictures folder from my old iMac inside. Is this the way it’s supposed to be:confused:
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    The best way is to use the Migration Assistant, which will run during the initial setup (the one that runs when you first power the machine up).

    You have the old machine connected correctly, so when you get to the Migration Assistant, you just select "Another Macintosh" (not sure the exact wording, but I think that's right).

    It might be best to start over. Otherwise, you could: Create a temp account and delete the user you have now. Then, run Migration Assistant and have it pull your old user account over, along with all your applications and data.

    If you're not comfortable with all that, I would suggest restoring the machine to factory state with the included disks. There will be less chance for confusion and possibly ending up with either a partial migrated user or duplicate or (well, I've seen some pretty interesting outcomes of trying to drag apps & user accounts).

    Aside from all that, Target Disk Mode is very handy when moving data by drag-n-drop.
     
  3. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #3
    The migration assistant can be used anytime, it's the best way to transfer a whole user data from one Mac to another.
     
  4. srowndedbyh2o thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks gr8fly. I’m transferring from a PPC iMac G5 to a new iMac, and had been advised not to use the Migration Assistant. When I first started my new iMac, during setup it asked if I had a MobileMe account, which I do, and once logged in, it synced with my idisk, put all my Safari Bookmarks, Contacts, iCal, Mail etc. on my new iMac. Worked great. What I’m now trying to do is move the Pictures (iPhoto, etc.) Documents, and music (iTunes) from my old iMac to my new iMac. I had been told that once in target disk mode I just needed to copy the folders from the Home folder of my old iMac to the Home folder of my new iMac.
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #5
    There can be some conflicts going from PPC to Intel, though most of the time the problem is a plug-in - and they just won't load (an application and any plug-ins need to be the same platform). If you don't have the Intel versions of the plug-in, it won't matter anyway. Otherwise, PPC apps, for the most part, will run fine under Rosetta.

    You can tell the Migration Assistant to only transfer data - not Applications or the contents of your Library folder. That way, you won't have any application conflicts.

    As for transferring the data manually: If you setup your new account with the setup assistant, and your username is exactly the same (the new account), you should be able to just drag the old folders to the new machine. As I remember, the possible problems come in when the folder's permissions are incorrect (i.e. they belong to another user/group). Most data within should be fine. Migration Assistant helps by making sure your user account and its folders are setup properly (Although, it's not perfect, it does have a very good track record. IMO, better attempts to reconstruct an account manually - I've personally helped sort out a couple of messes.).

    That all said (whew!), I think what you were doing wrong was opening those folders first. You should open your user folder (example: /Macintosh HD/Users/<username>). You'll get a dialog saying the folder already exists and ask permission to overwrite.

    edit: Or - what McGiord said
     
  6. srowndedbyh2o thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    I had already tried to drag and drop as in your example, but when I tried to drop the folder into my Home folder on the new iMac, instead of the dialog saying the folder already exists and ask permission to overwrite (which is what I thought would happen), I instead got a dialog telling me that the folder could not be moved as it is needed by the System. That’s when I tried dropping the folder onto the corresponding folder on the new iMac, eg: drag the Pictures folder from my old iMac and drop it onto the Pictures folder on the new iMac. After everything had copied over, I opened iTunes on the new iMac and it found the folder with my files. Although all the files were there, none of my albums were. I did another MRoogle search on this, took the advice of posts I found, and reimported my iTunes folder. But this time when I opened iTunes I held down the option key and pointed iTunes at this newly imported folder. This time everything came over, including my albums.
    Unfortunately I now have duplicate folders of my Documents folder, Music folder, Pictures folder, and Movies folders. I assume that with iTunes, I would just keep the latest folder I moved over, and delete the first Music folder, but I’m not sure about the others.
    For example, in my task bar there is a Documents folder, and when I open my Home folder there is also a Documents folder, and inside that folder is another Documents folder. When opened, each of these Documents folders appear to contain the same files / folders. but which ones do I delete?
     
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #7
    If you have two Documents folders in the sidebar, you can safely removed them both, then add in the correct one back in. They are simply aliases (or "shortcuts", in PC lingo).

    By taskbar, do you mean "Dock"? If so, it also uses aliases, so you can drag the correct folder back onto it (once you determine which is which).

    I'm beginning to think you don't have duplicate folders, but simply duplicate aliases in the Sidebar and Dock.

    I have to (can't help myself) say these are the types of problems which are avoidable by using the Migration Assistant. When it imports your user, it also imports the correct "special" folders, with the correct permissions (user/group, etc.). Unfortunately, your situation sounds too familiar to me. I do think you are on the path to set things right - it'll just be a bit tedious.
     
  8. srowndedbyh2o thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    This is my first experience with OS X v.10.5.6 (coming from v.10.4) and I’m not used to using the “Stacks” in the Dock. On my older iMac I kept a “Home” icon and an “Applications” icon in the Dock. Since I was used to accessing these folders that way, I attempted to put a Home folder on the Dock on the new computer. Well, the “Home” icon did not stay in the Dock, but there is a “users name” folder. When I click on that folder, the stack spreads open, showing a Documents folder, Music folder etc. However, also in the Dock, next to the “users name” folder is another Documents folder. I don’t remember if that was already there when the computer was first started or not.
    Oh, and sorry about the terminology I used. Yes, it is the Dock I was referring to.
    Also. Is there a way to determine which of these folders may be aliases?
     
  9. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #9
    Ok - think I have it. You dragged your user ("home") folder to the dock. When you click on it, you see all the folders within - those are the "real" folders (Music, Pictures, Documents, etc.). When you drag something to the Dock (or Sidebar) the system creates an alias for you - that's what you see there, not the original.

    You can tell whether or not a folder (or file) is an alias in the Dock or Sidebar the usual way - with the little arrow badge. But, behavior wise, it doesn't matter whether you drag the original or an alias to the Dock/Sidebar - it'll still open the original.

    One confusing thing about folders in the Dock ("Stacks): By default, the icon in the Dock for a Stack reflects the latest item in the folder. I personally found it confusing (along with, I suspect, a LOT of users, since Apple changed the original behavior to include an option to affix a permanent folder icon ("Display as: folder or stack" option). The default behavior had the icon changing every time a new item was added. If you had more than a couple of folders on the Dock, it can be hard to remember which one was which. (The exception is the special folder icons for the Desktop and Downloads.)

    The Stacks can be helpful, if you only have a few items. Otherwise, I prefer the Grid view (Stacks will switch to Grid view automatically if needed).

    Now if only I could get around to using some of these organizational features on my own Desktop. It looks like someone sneezed icons on it. ;)
     
  10. srowndedbyh2o thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    OK. I think this is starting to make more sense. So I’m OK to go ahead and remove that Home folder from the Dock, and when I need it I can access it by clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock, and then selecting it there. Correct? I also just noticed by looking at the Stacks PDF file that the other Documents folder in the Dock is there by default.
    I placed an icon of a program I use daily in the Dock for easy access, but since I had downloaded the latest version, it appears to be in the Dock twice, and only when you drag your mouse over it do you realize that one is the program and one is the Documents folder (or is it the Download stack?). That’s a very odd way to set it up.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m just blown away with the overall look and feel of this new iMac, I will just have to learn to do things a little differently than what I’m used to, just like when I went from OS 9 to OS 10.
    Thanks for all your help!
     
  11. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #11
    You're welcome! Glad it's getting all sorted out.

    Yep - your example is why my stacks are set to "Display as: Folder".

    Enjoy 10.5!
     
  12. srowndedbyh2o thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Thanks. I just made the change. Much better now:)
     

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